Did you ever wonder how church magazines first got started? According to some historians, the first-ever church magazine was produced in Derby in 1859, shortly after the government abolished the tax on newspapers.
Of course, there had been other religious magazines before this, but they circulated on a national scale. It took John Erksine Clarke, vicar of a poor parish in Derby, to come up with the idea of producing a local church magazine.
And after that, nothing was ever the same again. Clarke’s idea of a localised magazine gave power to the parishes. For the first time local Christians could have a common, regular Christian voice in their communities.
That may not seem like much now, but as one historian says: “In the early days those magazines were one of the very few pieces of print that many working-class homes would see. In middle-class homes they were often read aloud, as the family sat around the fire. By the turn of the century church magazines were going into several millions of homes around the country.” And we should not underestimate their influence for the good. As Bishop Percival, preaching in Plymouth in 1886 said, “You cannot create a new world except by creating a new heart and a new purpose in common man.”
It is the same today – our magazines can still have a regular, common Christian witness in our communities, sharing our Christian hope in the grace and love of God, through Jesus Christ. Our communities surely need to hear this message, and if we don’t share it with them, who will?
Meanwhile, if you live within driving distance to Esher, Surrey, we hope to see you next week at the CRE at Sandown Park!
Why don’t you come along and visit our stand? We can offer you FREE TICKETS!
We will be on E2, which is just near the coffee bar, so you can’t miss us. We would love to meet you, and to learn how you have coped with your magazine production during the past 18 months.
In fact, if you make the effort to come and see us on Stand E2, we will give you a one month’s FREE extension to your exisiting subscription with us! Just leave your name and church details with us, and we will do the rest.
OCTOBER 12 – 14, 2021
SANDOWN PARK, ESHER, SURREY
CRE Opening times
- Tues 12th Oct 10am – 5pm
- Wed 13th Oct 10am – 5pm
- Thurs 14th Oct 10am – 4.30pm
Three good reasons to come along:
- Networking, meet old friends and make new ones
- Get help, training and advice through the daily seminar programme
- See the latest resources, systems and equipment, many at offer prices
So – see you soon at CRE!